Instructional Science

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 75–90

The role of anomaly and of cognitive dissonance in restructuring students' concepts of force

  • Paul Gorsky
  • Menahem Finegold

DOI: 10.1007/BF00892158

Cite this article as:
Gorsky, P. & Finegold, M. Instr Sci (1994) 22: 75. doi:10.1007/BF00892158


This paper reports a study of (1) students' responses to an anomaly generated by the juxtaposition of opposing explanatory frameworks and (2) the nature and impact of cognitive conflict as students move from pre-scientific to scientific explanatory frameworks concerning the concept of force. Both rational and emotional responses to anomaly were observed and student responses to anomaly were ranked according to the extent of disequilibrium generated. In addition, ways in which students resolve anomaly were recorded and processes associated with dissonance resolution and learning were hypothesized. Finally, the impact of dissonance was seen to influence students' epistemological beliefs about learning.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Gorsky
    • 1
  • Menahem Finegold
    • 2
  1. 1.National Museum of ScienceIsrael
  2. 2.Israel Institute of TechnologyTechnionIsrael